Aimé Césaire: A Voice of History
Mon, Aug 17 9pm @ Downtown Independent Theater
Part of this year's Downtown Film Festival in Los Angeles, this documentary introduces American audiences to the celebrated Martinican author who coined the term negritude and launched the movement called the "Great Black Cry." Euzhan Palcy, the internationally acclaimed director of Sugarcane Alley and A Dry White Season, weaves Césaire's life and poetry into a vast study featuring many of the most important artistic and intellectual figures of the 20th century. André Breton, the high priest of surrealism, described Césaire as “a black man who embodies not simply the black race but all mankind, who will remain for me the prototype of human dignity." Césaire moves to Paris and, with Leopold Senghor, first president of Senegal and the French Guyanese poet Léon Damas, develops the concept of negritude - a worldwide re-vindication of African values. John Henrik Clarke and Howard Dodson of the Schomburg Center discuss the profound impact of black American authors like Langston Hughes, Richard Wright and Claude McKay as well as jazz and the Harlem Renaissance on this primarily Francophone movement.